Monday, August 03, 2009

The Upper Squares

At the top of the rue Constant Ragot, outside what was once the town's southern gate, is the largest of St.-Aignan's public squares. It's made up of two formally named places, la Place du Quatorze Julliet (France's national day), and la Place du Président Wilson. There are many streets and squares in France named for Wilson, commemorating his involvement in the end of the first World War.

La Place du Président Wilson, all parked up.

The squares are lined with trees, but they serve as parking lots most of the time. On market days, the Place du Quatorze Julliet is used by vendors of shoes, clothing, curtains, mattresses, and other non-food items. There's even a Singer sewing machine vendor. On festival days, manèges (carnival rides) fill the Place Wilson.

Coccinelle market on the Place Wilson.

A few businesses are clustered around the Place Wilson. Two cafés, a pharmacy, a bank, and the town's tiny movie theater occupy one side. There's a little grocery called Coccinelle (ladybug), a funeral home, and town hall on another side.

The St.-Aignan tourist office sits below the old château.

The smaller Place du Quatorze Julliet is bounded by the St.-Aignan's treasury (which was formerly the town hall) and the town tourist office. I took the above photo on market day and there were several painters with easels set up outside. This must have been something sponsored by the tourist office, but I didn't stop to check it out.


  1. I just realized that I neglected to take a photo of town hall. I'll have to rectify that.

  2. The picture of the Place Wilson brings back happy memories! Before we came to see you last June, we had a drink at the little 'tabac' on the right. Martine

  3. I am loving your continuing photo essay of SA! It brings back great memories of my visit to your lovely (neighboring) town.


  4. As pointed out yesterday, the 10 Euro Paris-Onzain train fare lives...thank you TB and Ken! But it does NOT live on the "SNCF Official US Site RAILEUROPE".

    As for today, thanks for more great pictures and commentary.
    Have you reserved the balloon for some arial shots? Or you could get a rig like this guy in Loches. :-)

  5. Bill

    Don't use the Official US site? use the French version and your CC # - same card that you will use in France to "retrieve"said ticket - unless you want to print it yourself ( I could be wrong on this one) . Make sure that it is a carte à puces, otherwise you will have to go to the booth to get the ticket. Unless someone in France can make the purchase on your behalf and then remit the ticket to you when you get to France or by mail.

  6. What is a carte à puces, if I may ask?

    Still enjoying the town series, Walt :)


  7. Judy

    You have an electronic chip inserted into your credit card in lieu of the magnetic band and then you must use a pin # to do transactions.

    I don't know about the US but in Canada we started seeing some since last yr and this yr my VISA card has been changed for one with that chip. Makes life easier when we travel in Europe- I remember hubby having problems at a boutique in Bastia in Corsica in 1997 - Finally he had to tell the sales clerk to use the magnetic band because he wasn't going to walk away from his purchases :-)

  8. Bill: We see that guy and his mates over Preuilly a couple of times a month in the good weather. Some of the Survol de France guys are based in the Touraine too. Their aerial photography is stunning.

  9. Thank you, Susan...the arial photos of St.Aignan are stunning.
    You're off the hook, Walt.

  10. I noticed the supermarché in the middle picture. Do you if they're associated with the Cocci Markets one finds in Paris?

  11. martine, ah, yes. I've been there. We once ran into our former doctor there when he ducked in to by cigarettes. That's not why he's our former doctor... he retired.

    bettyann, one day you'll have to come back and see it again!

    bill, I'd end up in a tree if I dared to try that.

    beaver & judy, glad you got that cleared up!

    susan, thanks for that link! It's great!

    starman, yes, I think they are.


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